Highway 1 Discovery Route

The very best of California is yours for the taking.

Imagine the road trip of your life, gliding past uncrowded beaches and wine grapes ripening in the sun. California dreaming? Think again.

Highway 1 is the most iconic roadway in California, but not all sections are created equal. The length that passes along the coast through San Luis Obispo County (known as SLO CAL) brims with the best of the Highway 1 experience. And as the gateway to Big Sur, this SLO CAL stretch is well within reach.

What sets us apart? One-hundred miles of Pacific coastline, half of which are protected. A national marine sanctuary and a national estuary. Thirteen state parks. An elephant seal rookery and Monarch butterfly preserves. A Scenic Byway designation from the U.S. Department of Transportation. Two historic lighthouses and five historic piers. The only drivable beach in California. Centuries-old forests. Hundreds of acres of coastal vineyards. Uncrowded white sand beaches. History and heritage at every turn with nine locales on the National Register. And Hearst Castle, a hilltop beauty that is a State and National Historic Landmark.

And that’s just the beginning.

Bury your toes in the sand and get to know the locals. Indulge in farm-fresh and ocean-fresh cuisine, and wines from family-owned vineyards. Glimpse abundant wildlife and historic wonders, all in the comfort of a laid-back culture and picture-perfect climate.

Want to plan the road trip of a lifetime? Follow your curiosity to our SLO CAL stretch of Highway 1, and let the wonder begin.

Roadtrip of a LIfetime

Design your itinerary for spontaneous pull-overs, spectacular sunsets and lots of family fun.

What sets this stretch of Highway 1 apart?

  • 57 miles of historic highway, just begging to be explored
  • 100 miles of Pacific coastline, complete with miles of hiking and biking trails
  • 50 miles of protected coastline ― the most in all of California
  • A “scenic byway” designation by the U.S. Department of Transportation
  • A National Marine Sanctuary
  • A National Estuary, which is home to over 300 species of birds
  • 13 State Parks featuring untouched beaches; breathtaking scenery; rare close-ups of wildlife; centuries-old trees; a castle; and drivable dunes
  • An elephant seal rookery – one of the few left in California
  • A Monarch butterfly preserve, a destination of over 25,000 migrating butterflies annually
  • Five piers – all walkable and fish-able ― one is even drivable
  • Two historic lighthouses offering docent-led walks, kayak tours, and history
  • Hearst Castle, a National and California Historical Landmark
  • Miles of spacious white sand beaches
  • 10 Whale Trail locations ― the most of any county in California
  • A coastal wine region, home to boutique, award-winning wine producers
  • The only drivable beach in California, the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Area
  • Nine historic places on the National Register, ready to satisfy your curiosity


Get to know our beach towns and vineyard-framed villages.

Upcoming Events

Your next adventure awaits

  • Dec
    The Holiday Extravaganza
    November 21 to December 31, 2019
    This three part evening opens with a heartwarming one-act version of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol
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  • Dec
    Cambria Christmas Market at Cambria Pines Lodge
    November 29 to December 31, 2019
    Inspired by traditional European Christmas markets, with German food and drink, local craft vendors, live music, and spectacular holiday displays featuring more than one million lights. Fun for all ages!
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  • Dec
    Christmas & Holiday Sing-Along at the Clark Center
    December 15, 2019
    From: 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
    Arroyo Grande
    This December's show is entitled "Let It Snow" and will present all your favorite wintery Christmas and Holiday songs.
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  • Dec
    The Nutcracker at the PAC
    December 13 to December 15, 2019
    San Luis Obispo
    It is Christmas Eve and Clara is about to have the night of her dreams! Audiences of all ages will marvel at the magic and wonder of this spectacular, professional production accompanied by a live orchestra. The Nutcracker at the PAC is a holiday show not to be missed.
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  • Dec
    Adventures with Nature
    December 03 to December 30, 2019
    San Luis Obispo County
    The Central Coast State Parks Associations presents the Adventures with Nature series. 
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  • Dec
    Mindfulness Meditation at SLO Botanical Garden
    December 04, 2019 to March 25, 2020
    San Luis Obispo
    Join meditation guide Dawn Feuerberg for a clear, concise, and practical meditation guidance. 
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  • Dec
    Winter Music Series at Sea Pines
    November 16, 2019 to April 11, 2020
    From: 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
    Los Osos
    Every winter we’re happy to offer locals and visitors alike the best music experience available on the Central Coast with our Winter Music Concert series. Running November 16th through April 11th, concerts begin at 5pm and continue until 7pm every Saturday. In addition to the live music, we also have refreshing food and beverages. No […]
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  • Dec
    Winter Indoor Music Series at Sea Pines
    December 07, 2019 to April 11, 2020
    Los Osos
    Join us at The Clubhouse Bar & Grill at Sea Pines Golf Resort for our Winter Indoor Music Series
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  • Dec
    Family Holiday Concert
    December 22, 2019
    San Luis Obispo
    Please join the Performing Arts Center Outreach Services Program in a benefit concert featuring Central Coast Youth Chorus, Vocal Arts Ensemble & University Organist Paul Woodring on the majestic Forbes Pipe Organ. Doors open at 2pm for festive activities in the lobby and meeting Santa! Then enjoy a concert of your favorite holiday classics and even sing along!All […]
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  • Dec
    Docents and experts lead a variety of walks through the Fiscalini Ranch Preserve each month.
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  • Dec
    Holiday Hike
    December 28, 2019
    The Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes Center will host a holiday hike
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  • Dec
    Join us December 31st from 9pm to midnight to celebrate the New Year! We will have live music from Cocktail Shorty, two bars, free party favors, food for purchase, and no cover fee!
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Plan Your Trip

Ready to design a vacation to remember? We can’t wait to see you here.

Where To Stay

Find Your Haven

This wonder-filled stretch of Highway 1 offers a wide variety of lodging options to ensure that your stay is an enjoyable one. Choose from oceanfront property, vineyard views, family-friendly suites and private retreats. Whether you’re looking for a historic inn, vacation rental or budget hotel, the Highway 1 Discovery Route promises to provide a comfortable hideaway.

Where To Eat

Bring An Appetite

Dining on this stretch reveals our embarrassment of riches, from farm to sea. Taste seafood straight from the waves, produce dewey from the morning’s harvest, and bread still warm from the oven. From tacos in Oceano to oysters in Cambria, barbecue in Nipomo to apple pie in Avila Beach, we’ve got great taste. What’s more? We’re more than happy to share. So pull up a chair, fill your glass, and settle in for what’s sure to be a delicious stay.


Be Amazed

Let our stretch of Highway 1 astound you. Start the day off-roading on the dunes and finish with a glass of wine and vineyard view. Build sandcastles one hour and witness the decadence of a real-life castle the next. Watch whales dance offshore, then dance like a local at a street festival. The rewards are great in our neck of the woods, and they’re all yours for the taking.


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